I was planning on writing a post this week about my favorite Christmas songs, but it's just going to have to wait because there has been something else weighing heavy on my heart this week and I just can't put it out of my mind.
I'm not the most religious person you'll ever meet by a long shot. I have my own personal struggles with faith just like we all do. I'm pretty sure I'll be lucky to even see the gates of heaven one day, much less get through them. But there's something about this time of year - the songs and the stories - that tend to open your heart a little more and give hope to even the darkest places of your soul.
It started I think with the school shooting last week. I know everyone was upset about it, but I just can't wrap my mind around how someone could literally kill babies like that. Only 6 and 7 years old - that's defiantly still considered a baby in life to me. I can't even imagine what those families are going through, especially this close to the holidays. There has also been quite a few deaths in our community this past week. It just really makes you stop and think about everyone out there who is hurting.
Everyone around me seems to be rushing from one holiday obligation to another, and getting more and more stressed in the meantime. I know we all have things we have to do, cookies we need to bake, presents we must get wrapped. Believe me when I tell you I'm the first one to get annoyed if a car is going to slow or someone is standing in the way, seemingly oblivious to the world going on around them. But maybe it's not such a bad idea, to stop and be oblivious to the world around you if even if just for a little while.
While the cookies are great, and the present are fun, it's the people that really matter. There are so, so many people who are hurting this time of year in one way or another. In reality aren't we all probably missing someone? Perhaps we should slow down and remember that while Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of year, it's not for everyone. I'm not sure if someone in my family told me this when I was little, or if it's something that I just read once, but regardless it's stuck with me. If someone you meet is mean, or angry, or just a generally unpleasant person chances are something pretty terrible has either happened or is happening in their life to make them that way. So what if instead of being rude back, we just smiled and wished them a Merry Christmas? At the very least it might confuse them so you can make a quick get-a-way :)
I'm not sure what I set out to accomplish with this post, but I guess the point I wanted to make was this. I know it's hard with everything that everyone has going on, but it light of everything that has been going on recently maybe it wouldn't kill us to slow down and just for a second be a little oblivious. Listen to some music that makes your heart happy. Pay attention to the little ones and share in their excitement. Really savor the time you get to spend with your loved ones, because you never know if you will get that time with them again. The world will go on without that last batch of cookies, I promise :)